We Need Systematic Testing

WRAL recently presented a story on what we need for life to return to normal based on an interview with Mark McClellan, Director of the Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke. Four criteria were presented two of which were 1) that the State needs to be able to test everyone that presents symptoms and 2) to monitor all confirmed cases and their contacts. Within the past two days Dr. McClellan and others at the Margolis Center published a webpage about creating a national COVID-19 testing system

(https://healthpolicy.duke.edu/sites/default/files/atoms/files/covid-19_surveillance_roadmap_final.pdf) .

I applaud this work because such a systematic approach will be vital for any return to normal life.

To date, the efforts to “flatten the curve” really have rested on the shoulders of citizens to 1) close businesses, 2) stay at home, 3) practice “safe distancing”, 4) wear (often homemade) face masks. We need government to present a plan for establishing a systematic COVID-19 testing and monitoring system. We need Federal and State funding.

We need the North Carolina State Legislature to approve emergency funding for such a system. Doing anything less will sadly ensure a long, drawn out effort to control the spread of Coronavirus.

David Cox, PhD

Raleigh City Council